According to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), there has been a surge of promoters encouraging individuals to set up self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) in order to invest in crypto-assets. ASIC warns people to be aware that while crypto-asset investments are allowed for SMSFs, they are high risk and speculative, as well as being an attractive area for scammers targeting uninformed investors.
For example, late last year ASIC moved to shut down an unlicensed financial services business based on the Gold Coast that promised annual investment returns of over 20% by investing in crypto-assets through SMSFs. The money obtained was not invested, but instead allegedly used by the directors of the business for their own personal benefit, including acquiring real property and luxury vehicles in their personal names.
Professional advice should always be sought before deciding on whether an SMSF is appropriate for your circumstances, as there are risks involved in being a trustee of an SMSF, and any SMSF established must meet the “sole purpose” test.